There are times when we watch too much of one kind of anime, it gets a little boring and we find ourselves wanting a change in the genre of anime to spice up our viewing experience. Perhaps you feel overwhelmed by the amount of characters that some anime present to you and all you want is to follow the development of a single character with a single purpose in mind, revenge.
If that’s the case, then here is a list that will fulfill your desire in watching someone fulfill his or her desire for sweet revenge. For this list, we’ll be counting down a list of anime that has ‘revenge’ as the central theme of the anime as a whole. Here are our recommendations for the Top 10 Revenge Anime.
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct 2003 – Mar 2004
Coming in at number ten, we have Gungrave. An anime based on a game about two best friends, Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowel who were once partners in crime working for a nice easy-going life, until everything changes when they join an infamous mafia syndicate known as Millennion.
They both have a goal to reach the top, however, Brandon does it through conviction whereas Harry through deception. Their friendship slowly grows apart following their own beliefs till one fateful day Harry betrays Brandon and kills him out of loyalty for Millennion. Thirteen years later, Brandon is resurrected from the grave and sets out his plan for revenge against the syndicate and his once best friend, Harry.
This is a story of friendship and betrayal that takes place over the course of many years. The beginning part of the anime follows Brandon and Harry as they enter the syndicate and reveals the relationship between them. Gungrave is an exhilarating anime with many intense moments that will keep you on edge wanting to watch more and more as the story progresses.
9. Gankutsuou (Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct 2004 – Mar 2005
Our next recommendation at number nine comes an anime called Gankutsuou. Loosely based on the French novel Le Comte de Monte-Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, it follows the story of a naïve fifteen-year-old boy named Albert Morcertif, living in the 51st Century. Albert finds himself by chance befriending a wealthy nobleman known as The Count of Monte Cristo during a festival on the moon colony of Luna.
Albert invites the Count to visit him in Paris, unknown to the fact that the count has an ulterior motive, to take revenge on those who have once betrayed him. What Albert doesn’t know is that the count has a past that involved his family, that he would never let go of until the day he gets his revenge.
With a unique art style, Gankutsuou is a new twist on an old story that brings forward an engaging plot packed full of mystery and action that will never leave you bored. It follows a genius mastermind who has brilliantly planned his vengeance, setting up and manipulating people to achieve his sweet revenge.
8. Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct 2008 – Mar 2009
Next up, we have Kuroshitsuji. Set in the Victorian-era of London, it follows the story of a young boy by the name of Ciel Phantomhive who had a tragic past involving the death of his parents. Shortly after, Ciel became a tortured slave and a sacrifice in a cult ritual. From all the suffering and pain, he was able to summon a demon named Sebastian Michaelis that aided his escape.
Vowing to take revenge on the people that murdered his family and humiliated him, he trades his soul to form a contract with Sebastian. He appears to be a top-notch and loyal butler who answers the needs of his master, but behind that perfect façade is a hungry demon waiting to consume Ciel’s soul. They both work for Queen Victoria as the ‘Queen’s Watchdogs’, solving cases and eliminating threats to the queen in the underworld. Working in hope to find the people that killed his parents, to get his revenge.
Kuroshitsuji is a story filled with a strong resentment for revenge. Not only that Ciel’s life was ruined the moment his parents were murdered, but to get tortured and humiliated on top of that? One can really feel the hatred stored up inside Ciel as he is bent on the path of revenge, undertaking many cases to find any leads to satisfying his long pent up anger.
7. Elfen Lied
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jul 2004 – Oct 2004
Up next we have one of the most merciless, gory and violent anime to have ever existed, Elfen Lied. Following the story of a girl named Lucy, she is a newly mutated species of human known as ‘Diclonius’ born through a series of inhumane governmental scientific experiments. Unlike humans, she has a pair of horns on her forehead and has special invisible telekinetic arms known as ‘Vectors’ that are able to tear apart anything in its path.
Resenting the way she was created and held captive, she escapes the facility that she was confined in and kills everything in her path. However, Lucy’s escape is not so easily achieved as she receives a head injury that causes her to gain a split personality. She takes on the mentality of a harmless child and finds herself protected by two kind college students, Kouta and Yuka whom unknowingly becomes involved with something they shouldn’t have.
This recommendation comes with a warning, as it is extremely graphic and should only be viewed by responsible adults, as Elfen Lied portrays revenge in its darkest light. An inhuman being that is not empathetic in the slightest and has no sense of morality, sadistically destroying everything until she gets satisfaction for being alienated as a being. That being said, it is a great anime for revenge at its true form. If you are not squeamish, then this is a must watch!
6. Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan - Tsuioku-hen (Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal)
- Episodes: 4
- Aired: Feb 1999 – Sep 1999
Our next pick is a short OVA series within the larger anime, Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal is about a destined swordsman by the name of Kenshin Himura, who has a soft heart and a strong desire to protect the innocent. When he was younger, Kenshin’s honest mentality caused him to become enslaved by a group of bandits. Kenshin was rescued by a man named Hiko Seijuro, who took it upon himself to raise him and gave him the swordsman name.
Kenshin leaves his master to go on a journey to help the weak and innocent. He eventually meets a woman by the name of Yukishiro Tomoe, the fiancé of a skilled assassin named Kiyosato Akira whom he assassinates. Kenshin is unaware of this fact eventually develops a love interest for her, Tomoe originally wants revenge but also falls in love with Kenshin and dies to protect him.
Rurouni Kenshin is a different kind of revenge anime focused on a kind-hearted man who is one the receiving end of the vengeful hatred and is focused more towards secrecy and deception rather than pure raged desires.
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr 2007 – Sep 2007
Coming in at number 5, we have Claymore. A world where demonic humanoid predators called Yoma exists to feed on humans. A mysterious organisation that created half-human, half-Yoma hybrid warriors known, as the ‘Claymores’ exist to hunt down Yoma for a fee. One such claymore goes by the name of Clare, a revenge-driven warrior that seeks to destroy the Yoma after an incident where they murdered her parents.
Clare was abused and tortured by the Yoma until the once strongest claymore named Teressa, saved her. Teressa was the one who inspired her to become a claymore, though the Yoma kills her. Adding fuel to the flames of revenge as she seeks to risk everything to prevent anyone else from being killed.
Similar to Kuroshitsuji, Claymore also follows the story of a protagonist filled with hatred and resentment from losing loved ones and from being tortured. However, Claymore follows the conviction and determination of a strong girl who fights with her own power to bring an end to the constant threat of death.
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct 1997 – Apr 1998
The next recommendation is an anime called Berserk, which is about a young mercenary named Guts who fights to survive on a daily basis. He is a strong warrior that is haunted by his past; he lost everyone he cared about to a man named Griffith who was once his best friend. Griffith sacrificed all his comrades to ‘God Hand’, an evil deity organisation whom Griffith wanted to become a part of.
God Hand is able to grant people power in exchange for their humanity, and in turn transforms them into monstrous apostles that roam the earth. Guts fights his way through these creatures, hoping to find clues that will lead him to his revenge on Griffith.
3. Skip Beat!
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct 2008 – Mar 2009
Skip beat! is a more light-hearted anime in comparison to the other anime on this list. It follows the story of Kyouko Mogami, a naïve 16-year-old girl who loves her childhood friend, Shoutarou Fuwa whom she helps to support his career and dream. After working tirelessly to bring in the money to help him, Kyouko finds out that Shoutarou sees him as nothing but a free servant and is then betrayed by him.
Heartbroken and filled with anger, Kyouko vows to take revenge on Shoutarou by entering the entertainment industry herself to become a bigger star than he will be. This entry is on our list because of the unique aspect of revenge in it, Skip beat! takes the revenge concept in a more entertaining and humorous way that makes it worthy to be one of the top ones on our list.
2. Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
- Episodes: 38
- Aired: Jun 2012 – Feb 2013
At number 2, we have Shingeki no Kyojin. If you haven’t heard or seen this anime yet, then you must go watch it as soon as humanly possible because this is an anime you’ll never forget. Following the story of Eren Yeager, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and his childhood friend Armin Arlet, Shingeki no Kyojin is about a world where mankind is near extinction as they are forced to live in fear if giant creatures known as ‘Titans’, humanoid monsters that feed on humans. Our protagonist lives within a city surrounded by huge walls that prevent the titans from attacking.
The walls were able to protect humanity for one hundred years until one day; an enormous Titan suddenly appeared and tore down the outer wall, which leads to an invasion of Titans and a huge loss of human lives. One of which is Eren and Mikasa’s mother, whom Eren witnesses with his own eyes as she was devoured. Traumatised by the loss of his mother, Eren vows revenge against the titans and joins the ‘Survey Corps’, a team of elite military soldiers that fight against the titans to save humanity.
Shingeki no Kyojin has a lot of action and many moments which makes you want to watch more of. Fuelled by the thirst for revenge and the desire to protect his friends, Eren serves to fight in a seemingly hopeless battle in hope to end the tyranny.
1. Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch R2 (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr 2008 – Sep 2008
Our number one selection for the best revenge anime goes to Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2. Following after the events of the first season, Lelouch Lamperouge lost all of his memories of his time as the masked vigilante Zero and lives peacefully with his friends at Ashford Academy. C.C. attempts to help Lelouch in restoring his memories so he can resume his crusade to exact revenge on his father.
Infuriated knowing that his father has used the ‘Geass’ against him to wipe his memories, Lelouch still has the dream to recreate the world. With many shocks and suprising twists, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 will keep you on edge to find out how exactly Lelouch is going to achieve his revenge. The theme of revenge drives the plot of this story however it's the clever psychological battle between the characters that make the excitement of revenge that much better.
There we have it, the top 10 anime that revolve around the theme of revenge. Of course, there are much more anime that have aspects of revenge within them. However, this list was only about the main characters and their stories of revenge as a main driver of the plot.
We hope that you enjoyed this list; did we miss one of your favourite revenge anime? Leave a comment down below and tell us which anime you thought deserved to also be mentioned and tell us why you chose it.